School District will Brief San Rafael Elementary School Community on Seismic Report

The Pasadena Unified School District is hosting a meeting on October 29th, 2015, for parents, community members and staff of San Rafael Elementary School to discuss a preliminary report that indicates active faults are not present within the depth and location so far explored at the campus.

The meeting will be held in San Rafael Elementary School auditorium, located at 1090 Nithsdale Road, Pasadena, starting at 6:00 p.m.

The report, issued by Earth Systems of Southern California on September 11th, could possibly alter plans formulated earlier to close the school and transfer its staff and operations to the former Allendale Elementary School campus in the 2017-2018 school year due to seismic risk.

In 2012, an extensive fault rupture investigation concluded the school was too close to identified earthquake faults to be renovated under current state laws. The School Board then had ordered the school to be closed and students transferred, and renovation plans put on hold.

In its latest investigation report that will be presented at the meeting on October 29th, Earth Systems is now saying the “potential for surface fault rupture at the site during the design life of the existing structures is considered to be very low.”

“It is our opinion that no restrictions on future development at the site, outside the proposed restricted use area, are necessary with respect to the hazard of surface fault rupture,” the Earth Systems report said.

The report also indicated there might no longer be any need to close the facility, and renovation and expansion plans can be pursued on site, as long as “proper engineering” is applied.

“The effects of ground shaking in the event of a large earthquake or a nearby earthquake can be mitigated by proper engineering design and construction in conformance with current building codes and engineering practices,” said part of the report.

School board member (District 7) Scott Phelps and PUSD Chief Facilities Officer Nelson Cayabyab will brief the community and answer questions about the report.

A discussion and decision on the future of the San Rafael school site is scheduled to be part of the November agenda of the PUSD Board of Education meeting.

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